Posts Tagged 'Center for Creative Connections'

#DMAVacation

Nic Nicosia, Vacation, 1986, cibachrome photograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Meisel Photochrome Corporation © 1986 Nic Nicosia, Dallas, Texas

Nic Nicosia, Vacation, 1986, cibachrome photograph, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Meisel Photochrome Corporation, © 1986 Nic Nicosia, Dallas, Texas

Earlier this month, the large photograph Vacation by Nic Nicosia was installed in the Center for Creative Connections (C3). Vacation is one of seven photographs that comprise Nic Nicosia’s Life As We Know It series. In this series depicting contemporary American life, Nicosia plays with everyday topics such as fashion, youth, and violence. Through his use of fabricated environments and staged scenes, Nicosia blurs the line between illusion and reality. This surreal atmosphere is enhanced by the ironic twists, such as the burning plane in the background, on what would otherwise be ordinary situations.

Inspired by this work of art, the C3 team created a photo station where visitors can pose for their own staged picnic-themed photograph. Some have embraced the surreal nature of Nicosia’s work more than others. Check out our visitors’ photographs and stop by C3 to snap a photo of your DMA vacation.

Jessica Fuentes is the C3 Gallery Coordinator

How Many Words Are There for “Light”

How many words can you think of that describe light? Your list can include characteristics, opposite words, and metaphors for the concept of light.

A Panel Depicting the Tuba Tree, with the 99 Names of God on its Leaves, c. 1900, watercolor on paper, The James and Ana Melikian Collection

A Panel Depicting the Tuba Tree, with the 99 Names of God on its Leaves, c. 1900, watercolor on paper, The James and Ana Melikian Collection

The exhibition Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World explores the concept of light and the many ways it is captured, studied, and featured in works of art and scientific objects from Islamic culture (nur is the Arabic word for “light”). A work of art from the exhibition titled A Panel Depicting the Tuba Tree, with the 99 Names of God on Its Leaves is currently on view in the Center for Creative Connections (C3). This painting illustrates the concept that there can be many meanings associated with a single idea. Similarly, visitors are invited to add their ideas to a growing collection of light-related words in the accompanying community installation.

Leave your ideas on what light is through the run of the exhibition, which closes on June 29.

Melissa Nelson Gonzales is the C3 Gallery Manager at the DMA.

Makers Made

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Now in its fifth month, Maker Club is a free drop-in program for ages 13-19 that asks, “What happens when art, science, and technology mix?” Capitalizing on the popularity of the Maker movement and incorporating elements from STEAM education, Maker Club is a combination between open studio and led workshop that explores a different theme each month.

Image courtesy of makeymakey.com

Image courtesy of makeymakey.com

Experimentation and open-endedness rule the day as traditional art materials and tech-based supplies are thrown into the ring together. Past projects have included creating a Makey Makey mini-arcade, making found-object sculptures from discarded electronics, and using electro-luminescent (EL) wire and glow-in-the-dark screen-printing ink to make light-up clothing and accessories.
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Since no experience is required to take part, Maker Club also provides an opportunity for teens to learn and “level up” a variety of skills–from new artistic processes and creative problem solving, to circuit building, soldering and more. Group learning and collaboration is also a happy by-product of this process; oftentimes, the adult facilitators are learning just as much from the students as vice versa.
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So why have a maker-type program in an art museum? To me, the ideas aren’t mutually exclusive, but rather complementary. In the latest issue of Make magazine, Don Undeen, manager of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s MediaLab, writes that all artists are, in fact, makers, and that museums have the potential to be a living forum where the two groups can talk to and inform one another.

There are even makers in the DMA’s collection, and those artists inspire the Makers Club members. Martin Delabano’s Family Portrait gave one teen the idea for this found-object sculture (pictured below). See how many makers you can spot in the DMA’s collection on your next visit.
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Martin Delabano, Family Portrait 1963, 2001, mixed media, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bryant M. Hanley, Jr., Lorine and David H. Gibson, and Sonny Burt and Bob Butler

JC Bigornia is the C3 program coordinator at the DMA.

New Year, New You

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Whether you set specific goals for 2014, or are just considering ways to give back to the community, the C3 Volunteer Program may be right for you. Center for Creative Connections (C3) volunteers help visitors to enjoy and explore the Museum’s collection and interactive activities, both in the C3 and in our collection galleries.

We’ve invited Kenton Visser, an artist and current C3 volunteer, to share his experiences–and a few of his works–with “Uncrated.”
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The first question I ask myself when I wind up somewhere new is “Where is the art?” The Dallas Museum of Art has been the best answer I’ve found to that question in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

During my first visit to the DMA, my sister and I spent over an hour in C3. We were excited by how the Museum valued a space for visitors to not just observe art objects but respond by creating as well. The people at the DMA are aware that the Museum contains worlds to be found, and they encourage exploration with self-guided tours that focus on a particular theme or subject in various areas of the collection. As my personal take on these tours, I sometimes give myself drawing assignments in order to absorb what’s on display more fully, often surprising myself with what I can notice if I really look.

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Recent changes with the DMA’s return to  free general admission and the launch of  DMA Friends  have removed barriers and made it easy for visitors to gain rewards based on a point system. Volunteering brings its own rewards (such as free parking and free admission to special exhibitions and events) as well as 500 points for every shift. Naturally, I’ve enjoyed these perks, but volunteering has been rewarding enough in itself.

Although the Museum isn’t exactly close by for me (I currently live south of Fort Worth), I’ve always found it to be worth the trip. I applied to be a volunteer this past summer, looking for a way to better connect with artistic circles. My monthly shifts have given me a recurring reason to visit the Museum, and volunteering with C3 has provided an energizing platform for interacting with visitors through art. Even though I spend a large portion of my time making art, being in the Museum (and especially in C3) gives me a unique chance to see how art is received by a wide variety of people. School groups, individuals, adults and children, those who have studied art and those who haven’t—everyone who comes into C3 has a different reaction to the art and the hands-on activities available.
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I’ve particularly enjoyed volunteering at the Pop-Up Art Spot, a compact cart stocked with simple activities that shows up in different galleries each week. It’s a nice oasis in the galleries and brings creative connections to people who wouldn’t seek out the main C3 space. I’ve been able to win over a number of visitors who seem unsure about participating in an activity (usually “I can’t draw” or “Isn’t this for kids?”) but then find themselves thoroughly enjoying it. Because I’m usually drawing or working on activities myself, I often have conversations with visitors about my own art. I’ve even had a few requests to prove my abilities by drawing portraits of the visitors or popular cartoon characters. These experiences in the C3 Gallery and Pop-Up Art Spot are perfect proof of the DMA’s belief that an art museum shouldn’t be just a building full of objects but a place where art happens.

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If you are interested in becoming a C3 volunteer, request an application here. The application deadline is Friday, January 10.

Kenton Visser is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and has lived in Crowley, Texas, since 2009. In addition to volunteering, he works as an illustrator, studio assistant and certified framer. His portfolio can be seen on his website.

Melissa Nelson Gonzales is the C3 gallery manager at the DMA.

A Year of Launches, Anniversaries, and Free at the DMA

The year 2013 has been an exciting one at the DMA. We’ve welcomed more than 540,000 visitors, launched new programs, and hosted 11 exhibitions. Below are a few of the Uncrated team’s favorite highlights from the past year.

      • Going free!
        We returned to free general admission on January 21 and have loved every minute of opening our doors for free to the North Texas community.
      • Getting more than 41,000 new friends
        In January we launched DMA Friends, the first free museum membership program, and our new friends have been earning points on their visits and redeeming them for unique rewards for almost 12 months!
      • DMA sleepover
        Speaking of unique rewards, we hosted our first DMA Overnight in November. Ten DMA Friends redeemed 100,000 points to spend the night at the Museum with a guest while exploring the galleries after hours, participating in new DMA games and sleeping under the watchful eyes of Tlaloc.
        Overnight Guests
      • C3 got a facelift
        Come by and see new works of art and activities for all ages in the front gallery of the Center for Creative Connections on Level 1.
      • A sky of denim
        The DMA co-organized exhibition Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take (on view through January 12!) is full of beautiful and interesting works of art, but we had the privilege of being the first venue to ever show his denim work Untitled (one day it all comes true). It was amazing getting to witness Jim Hodges viewing his completed work on display for the first time.
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      • Happy Anniversary!
        This was the year of anniversaries here at the DMA, including the 110th birthday of the DMA, the 80th anniversary of the Dallas Free Public Art Gallery becoming the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the 50th anniversary of the merger of the DMFA and DMCA, the 30th anniversary of the DMA Sculpture Garden opening, the 20th anniversary of the Hamon Building opening (which includes Level 4 and the Atrium), Arturo’s 10th birthday, and the 5th anniversary of C3.
      • From Greece to Dallas
        We had a year of amazing exhibitions, from a celebration of President Kennedy in Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy to the colorful world of Chagall’s sculptures, drawings and costumes in Chagall:Beyond Color, from the famous Discus Thrower from the British Museum in The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece to welcoming the local art community in DallasSITES: Available Space.
      • Art/Arte
        This fall we launched our first-ever bilingual (Spanish and English) guide for visitors, written by members of the Dallas community through a partnership program with AVANCE-Dallas and Make Art With Purpose. Pick one up at the Visitor Services Desk on your next visit.
      • Texas hops and barley
        This summer we had a Texas beer social for Museum staff and sampled brews that come from the Lone Star State. Uncrated team member Melissa Nelson Gonzales out- sipped the competition and won the beer tasting contest!
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      • Eyes of the  Ancestors
        In June we celebrated the publication of our catalogue Eyes of the Ancestors: The Arts of Island Southeast Asia at the Dallas Museum of Art and welcomed special guest Dhalang Purbo Asmoro, who hosted a public gamelan and wayang performance with musicians from Java, Bali and New York. This month, the book was named the winner of the 2013 International Tribal Art Book Prize.
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      • Creative rest stop
        We launched a new program this year, the Pop-Up Art Spot, taking C3 into the galleries and inviting visitors to enjoy a creative break while exploring the Museum. Over 12,000 visitors of all ages have participated in drawing, writing and other creative activities!
      • New digs
        In 2013 a portion of the south end of the building was under renovation for the new DMA Paintings Conservation Studio (watch the transition here). Visitors can see into the DMA’s Conservation Studio and explore the conservation process in the adjacent gallery for free during Museum hours. A recent conservation project, Daniel Buren’s Sanction of the Museum, hangs in the Concourse and leads the way to the studio.
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      • A Texas-size howdy!
        Our Visitor Services Team, which greets every guest of the DMA when they walk through our doors or visit the galleries, also got a makeover. You may have noticed their friendly smiles and new outfits during your visits this year.
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Thank you for helping us make 2013 a great year. We wish you a very happy new year!

Kimberly Daniell is the manager of communications and public affairs at the DMA.

Open Office: Center for Creative Connections

Most people don’t realize how fun having an office on the first floor of the museum can be! The ten of us (plus one intern) in the Center for Creative Connections (C3) office space are especially close, quite literally. We all sit within earshot of each other and are very close to the visitors in C3, which makes it a very lively workplace! Those who live here during the day (and often get locked in because they have stayed too late) are a fabulous group from the DMA’s C3 team; the wonderful ladies from the Family, Access, and School Experiences squad; and the Head of Community Engagement. You can visit Susan, Amanda, Amanda, Leah, Maria Teresa, JC, Danielle, Melissa, Jessica, Amy, and Tyler anytime you want! Just don’t forget which Amanda is which.

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Amanda Batson is the C3 program coordinator at the DMA.

Rewarding DMA Friends

Longtime Center for Creative Connections (C3) visitor and volunteer Mary Burkhead claimed a DMA Friends reward for six of her friends to attend a small-group artist-led art-making session. Mary was one of our first DMA Friends, joining on January 21, the official “opening day” of the program. Mary and I brainstormed about possibilities for this specialized workshop, and she requested a private Think Creatively workshop with Magdalena Grohman, Ph.D., in C3. Mary loves attending the Thursday night adult workshops and was eager to have a special class just for her and the friends that she has made over the past year in the workshops. Read the interview with Mary Burkhead below. I hope she inspires you to keep collecting your DMA Friends points!

Dr. Magdalena Grohman and class in discussion

Dr. Magdalena Grohman and class in discussion

How long have you been coming to the DMA?
Since I moved to Dallas in the mid-80s.

How many DMA Friends badges have you earned?
Oh, gosh, lots! Some more than once. I hate to admit it, but I’m rather greedy about them. I’m still disappointed that I didn’t get the last code needed for the special Neil Gaiman badge. But I did get the special JFK badge!

What is your favorite way to collect points?
By seeing and doing wonderful things in the Museum, of course! Seriously, you earn badges by doing what you already love to do: going to special exhibitions, exploring the galleries, attending workshops, lectures, and special events.

Think Creatively presentation by visitor

Think Creatively presentation by visitor

Why were you interested in claiming the “Small Group Art-Making Session in C3” reward?
I frequently attend the creativity workshops and the Artistic Encounters workshops. I encourage everyone to try them. I always have a wonderful time, and learn a lot. And I’ve met so many wonderful, fun, interesting people. I just loved the idea of having a special session with some of these new friends.

What is your favorite thing to do or see at the DMA?
Well, I have lots of favorites, and I hate to be limited. And the DMA is not limited! One of my favorite artworks is The Icebergs. I will be very glad to see it again when it returns home this month. But there are many other pieces that I also love. I love the workshops, of course. That’s why I selected it for my reward. I also love the Arts & Letters Live programs. I love how the DMA brings together many different types of art. And then there is Late Night! I could go on forever.

Dr. Magdalena Grohman and visitors responding to works of art

Dr. Magdalena Grohman and visitors responding to works of art

How did you choose the people that were going to participate with you in the workshop?
With great difficulty! I wanted everyone who had ever attended a workshop to come, but of course, that’s not possible. So I selected a group of folks who participate frequently and who interact well. That’s important for a group learning experience. Not to mention,  they are all fun, wonderful people!

Visitor in thought

Visitor in thought

What do you value the most at the DMA?
I think the most wonderful thing about the DMA is that it is available to everyone. Art is so important to individual people and to the whole community. I’ve talked to so many people at the Museum who are having fun, experiencing new things, and exploring the possibilities of art. I love that. It’s exciting to talk to people who have come for the first time, or the first time in a long time. It’s nice to talk to out-of-towners who think our DMA is great!

Do you recall a favorite moment at the DMA?
There are so many. But one wonderful moment was being in the Museum late at night–I think it was close to midnight–on the 100th anniversary. There were so many people there, and they were all having so much fun! I’m so glad that led to the monthly Late Nights.

Are you also a DMA Partner in addition to being a DMA Friend? 
I am a Partner, and I also have memberships in several other  local museums. Financially supporting the DMA is a great value for entertainment and education, and also for our community.

Two participants writing to music

Participants writing to music

Amanda Batson is the C3 program coordinator at the DMA.

A HI-C Avenger in C3

John Hernandez, HI-C Avenger, 1992, acrylic on wood, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Artists Fund

John Hernandez, HI-C Avenger, 1992, acrylic on wood, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas Artists Fund

The Center for Creative Connections was honored to host two workshops this weekend with the artist John Hernandez. Hernandez, a well-known artist based in San Antonio, received his MFA from the University of North Texas under the tutelage of artist Vernon Fischer. His work is accessible to people of all ages, and a reminder of a pop-culture past. Our visitors were thrilled to have the opportunity to talk with Hernandez about his work and engage in a hands-on experience on Thursday evening during the C3 Artistic Encounters workshop.

Hernandez answering questions about his work

Hernandez answering questions about his work

The workshop guided participants through a process Hernandez uses in his own work to design maquettes for his larger installations. Combing through magazines, participants pieced together images in a surreal way, affixed them to cardboard, and then transformed them to pop out of foam core.

John Hernandez demonstrating

John Hernandez giving a demonstration

Deborah creating her collage

Deborah creating her collage

Hernandez joined us again in C3 during our Late Night on Friday evening for a toy sculpture workshop. Similar to the way in which Hernandez creates, visitors pieced together vintage toys to create new creatures of their own. Morphing one toy into another, cutting pieces of something that once was in order to create something new and different, gave visitors a closer look at the process of the guest artist.

Toy Creations

Toy creations

The next time you are in C3, stop by to admire Hi-C Avenger by John Hernandez and take a closer look! What will you see?

Amanda Batson is the C3 Program Coordinator at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Coming Soon: The New C3

There are some changes taking place in the DMA’s Center for Creative Connections. We have expanded our “making” space in C3 to include a work of art to inspire creation, and we are enlarging the area to allow room for more visitors. We have recently added a new staff pick, and we are in the process of installing the Urban Armor Street Art Camp panels in the Tech Lab and Young Learners Gallery. We’re also changing out the monitor wall images with visitor photo contributions. DMA staff has been preparing the walls in C3 for the installation of a piece by John Hernandez called Hi-C Avenger. We are thrilled to announce that Hernandez will be teaching workshops in C3 this January!

Amanda Batson is the Program Coordinator for the Center for Creative Connections at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Off the Wall: Where Does It End?

In our Center for Creative Connections we ask visitors to reflect on their responses to the spaces they encounter in art, as well as those they encounter in their everyday life.

For one work of art specifically, Lee Bontecou’s Untitled, we ask visitors to respond to one of three prompts:

  • To me, sharing space with this work of art feels like…
  • The words or pictures that come to mind when I look at this work of art are…
  • If this work of art was part of something larger, describe what it would be.

Untitled (35), Lee Bontecou, 1961

We have gotten a lot of great responses from visitors and want to share a few with you. Once a month we will have an “Off the Wall” post featuring three responses left by visitors.

Next time you are in the Center for Creative Connections add your contribution to the wall and maybe you will see it on Uncrated!


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